MHS Physician Assistant

Our nationally recognized physician assistants program will give you both the modern skills to be an indispensable members of a health care team and the cultural awareness necessary to effectively treat diverse populations.

About this program

Top 5

Nationally Renowned

Our Physician Assistant program is ranked 5 out of 190 programs nationally by U.S. News & World Report (2016)


Success Rate

A high percent of our graduates are either working or in a secondary education program six months after graduation (2015 Graduates from Quinnipiac Survey)

Program Overview

Bobcat pride

Jillian Pracella '16 poses for a photo after receiving her Physician Assistant Program Certificate Award during a ceremony at the TD Bank Sports Center at Quinnipiac University August 13, 2016 in Hamden, Connecticut.

Ranked 5th in the country by U.S. News & World Report, our physician assistant program is focused on building a strong scientific foundation as well as leadership, analytical and interpersonal skills through hands-on clinical experience. You’ll learn to be a crucial extension of the physician and to assist in emergency medicine, conduct diagnostic tests and perform routine procedures.  

The 27-month program offers a comprehensive blend of courses that examine subjects such as biology, pharmacology and behavioral medicine. You’ll gain extensive practical experience collaborating with health care providers in hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes and extended-care facilities. During your first year you’ll be paired with either a physician or physician assistant one day a week to begin applying what you’ve learned in the classroom in professional settings with real patients.

Our interprofessional approach presents opportunities to collaborate with students from other medical and health science disciplines where you’ll build essential teamwork and leadership skills. And you’ll have access to the most sophisticated equipment and facilities, where you’ll learn to interpret diagnostic imaging, and perform procedures such as suturing, injections and wound treatment. There are also rewarding volunteer opportunities, such as the Urban Service Track program, which provides medical services to underserved populations throughout Connecticut.

Curriculum and Requirements

MHS Physician Assistant Program of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Summer SemesterCredits
PY 501 Human Physiology 4
PY 503 Principles of Interviewing 3
PY 507 Principles of Electrocardiography 1
PY 508 Diagnostic Methods I 2
PY 515 Clinical Pathology 3
PY 517 Human Anatomy 4
Fall Semester
PY 502 Physical Diagnosis 4
PY 505 Clinical Pharmacology I 2
PY 506 Principles of Internal Medicine 6
PY 514 Diagnostic Methods II 1
PY 572 Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 4
Spring Semester
PY 504 History, Roles and Responsibilities of the PA 1
PY 509 Principles of Obstetrics and Gynecology 3
PY 510 Principles of Pediatrics 3
PY 511 Principles of Surgery and Emergency Medicine 4
PY 512 Psychosocial Issues in Health Care 2
PY 513 Behavioral Medicine 3
PY 516 Clinical Pharmacology II 2
Second Year
PY 611 Clinical Residency I 3
PY 612 Clinical Residency II 3
PY 613 Clinical Residency III 3
PY 614 Clinical Residency IV 3
PY 615 Clinical Residency V 3
PY 616 Clinical Residency VI 3
PY 617 Clinical Residency VII 3
PY 618 Clinical Residency VIII 3
PY 619 Clinical Residency IX 3
Third Year
Summer Semester
PY 526 Principles of Epidemiology 3
PY 536 Biostatistics 3
PY 546 Ethics in Health Care Delivery 3
PY 608 Graduate Seminar 4
PY 676 Comprehensive Examination 2
 Total Credits94

In addition to the intensive classroom study during the first year, students are introduced to the clinical application of their training by being paired with a graduate physician assistant or physician one half day a week. This is designed to facilitate application of the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom setting to the care of the patient.

Requirements for Graduation

Upon successful completion of the 27-month Quinnipiac University physician assistant program, students are granted a master of health science and a certificate of completion as a physician assistant. Students must meet all of the following requirements in 27 months:

  1. Satisfactory completion of the PA curriculum requirements (including academic, clinical, medical writing, clinical logging, professionalism and community service requirements).
  2. Satisfactory completion of the PA program core competencies and essential learning outcomes.
  3. Satisfactory completion of all PA course requirements.
  4. Satisfactory completion of the capstone comprehensive examination.
  5. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Admissions Requirements

The Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant program is committed to accepting a diverse group of qualified individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The program selects students who reflect varied social, economic, ethnic, educational and health care experience backgrounds. The program seeks students who possess intellectual capacity, personal maturity, communication and interpersonal skills.

Interested candidates must possess, at a minimum:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a nationally recognized institution
  • Four semester courses in biology with labs (credits must be in mammalian or human biology), including one semester of microbiology (with lab) and two semesters of anatomy and physiology (with labs)
  • Three semester courses in chemistry with labs, including one semester of organic or biochemistry (with labs) 
  • One semester course in pre-calculus, calculus or statistics
  • All academic prerequisites should be completed prior to application, although applicants with no more thant two academic prerequisites pending may apply, if the course is completed no later than Dec. 31 of the year of application and notated as a course in progress/pending on the CASPA application
  • All prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States
  • Prerequisite labs must be completed through an on-campus course (not online)
  • Scores from the tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if the applicant is from a non-English speaking country
  • Scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) are not required

The most competitive applicants should possess at a minimum:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.20 and a science GPA of 3.20
  • A minimum of 2,500 hours of direct patient care experience in the U.S. health care system

Admission to the program is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to undergraduate, post-bachelor's and graduate cumulative and science GPA, direct patient care experience, completion of narrative and letters of reference. Personal interviews, required for admission, are offered to the most qualified individuals.

The physician assistant program does not accept transfer credits, does not accept applications for challenge examinations and does not accept credits for experiential learning.

All incoming students are required to undergo a criminal background investigation prior to entering the program. The University must be able to assure the clinical facilities that our students have been through a criminal background check.

Quinnipiac has a pre-PA program known as the entry-level master's physician assistant program (ELMPA). Students who have successfully completed all requirements of the ELMPA program, as well as the admissions requirements listed above, will also be granted admission to the master of health science physician assistant program.

To Apply for Admission to the Physician Assistant Program:
Quinnipiac's physician assistant program participates with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Apply now.

The deadline for a COMPLETED application to CASPA is Sept. 1. (The PA program begins in late May/early June.) The application process does NOT require submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

For additional information about the program or to arrange a campus tour or visit, call the Graduate Admissions Office at 203-582-8672 or 800-462-1944.

Fully licensed by the state of Connecticut, Quinnipiac's physician assistant program leads to an MHS degree and provides the clinical and academic preparation needed for the diverse responsibilities undertaken by physician assistants. Quinnipiac is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). The program is ranked 5 out of 190 programs nationally by U.S. News & World Report.